Retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North will become the next president of the National Rifle Association, the organization announced Monday.
“This is the most exciting news for our members since Charlton Heston became President of our Association,” NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a news release.
“Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader. In these times, I can think of no one better suited to serve as our President,” he added.
North, 74, said he will take up his new post in the next few weeks. He will use the time to put his business affairs in order, including resigning his position as a Fox News contributor.
“I am honored to have been selected by the NRA Board to soon serve as this great organization’s President,” North said.
“I appreciate the board initiating a process that affords me a few weeks to set my affairs in order, and I am eager to hit the ground running as the new NRA President,” he added.
Lt. Colonel Oliver North Poised to Become NRA President. “Most exciting news for NRA members since Charlton Heston Became President of Our Association,” Wayne LaPierre said. Full press release: https://t.co/O8I7F0V1Xl
— NRATV (@NRATV) May 7, 2018
NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch said she is “thrilled” that North is joining their team, saying he is “the last person that anti-gun advocates would want as the new President of the NRA board.”
Thrilled about the Oliver North news. A total warrior for freedom, this is the last person that anti-gun advocates would want as the new President of the NRA board.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) May 7, 2018
“The board acted quickly and with great vision,” LaPierre said. “Oliver North is, hands down, the absolute best choice to lead our NRA Board, to fully engage with our members, and to unflinchingly stand and fight for the great freedoms he has defended his entire life.
“Oliver North is a true hero and warrior for freedom, and NRA members are proud to stand with him.”
North first hit the national spotlight during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, having served on former President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council.
He was tried and convicted of aiding and abetting the obstruction of a congressional inquiry and ordering the destruction of government documents. The convictions were later vacated, however, and all charges against him were dismissed in 1991.
The NRA became a focal point for gun control advocates following the February high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Supporters of the pro-Second Amendment advocacy group rallied by contributing $2.4 million to the NRA’s political victory fund in March, which was the largest single monthly haul in at least 15 years.
McClatchy reported that most of the donations during March of this year — $1.9 million of the $2.4 million — came from small donations of $200 or less.
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